On Letting Go and Being Here

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Dear Friend,

I love searching for and finding quotes that are relevant and speak to me. I write them on post-its, in journals, in notes on my phone – virtually anywhere I can record them when I come across a good one. I have many that are from Joseph Campbell, who was an American professor of literature and a prolific writer. He has endless, thought-provoking quotes.

Given that we are all dealing with unprecedented circumstances due to COVID-19, this quote seems particularly relevant.

“We must let go of the life we have planned so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

This idea seems synchronized with Buddhist teachings, which I have been reading more regularly in the past decade. I have tried to incorporate the easy acceptance of “what is” into my life, yet it seems more relevant and important now than ever before.

Six months ago, I, along with most people, couldn’t have predicted the reality of what we are currently facing. We are mostly able to control our own social distancing, hand washing, and house cleaning, but beyond that, the average human cannot stop this virus. Like Campbell’s point, the best we can do is let go of what we expected we would be doing right now and accept our present reality.

Photography helps me do that. I take time to look carefully at details, light, and composition, and often find myself becoming lost entirely in time and moment. My current infrared photography work is a good example of this complete immersion. On another note, because I work digitally, the pictures I take don’t have to be good ones. Sometimes, I use my phone and simply try to record what is happening in our family right now. Whenever this pandemic is behind us, I want to be sure that I was truly aware of how our life felt during it.

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